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Author Topic:   More on Diet and Carbohydrates
Percy
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Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


(2)
Message 1 of 243 (736083)
09-01-2014 9:46 PM


Some might remember the Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes and A Better Theory: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan threads. There was a lot of controversy. Some seemed almost offended that anyone might question the "fat is bad, carbohydrates are good" hypothesis.

Today's New York Times has an article titled A Call for a Low-Carb Diet. It begins:

New York Times writes:

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

This is precisely the message that Gary Taubes has been spearheading for quite a long time. Looks like the evidence against carbohydrates that he said would be there if we looked is really there.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Coyote, posted 09-02-2014 12:35 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 09-02-2014 1:14 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 4 of 243 (736093)
09-02-2014 7:55 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
09-02-2014 1:14 AM


Not only was Atkins right, but government dietary guidelines and organizations like the American Heart Association have been wrong for decades. The obesity epidemic, rising rates of type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome, millions of deaths due to heart disease, they can all be laid at the door of their endorsement of outdated research from over a half century ago that caused Americans to avoid fat and replace those calories with carbohydrates.

I just checked the American Heart Association website (Statements Published in Current Year). No comment yet.

The good news is that despite the inertia of government and health organizations, the past few years have seen an increasing emphasis on low carbohydrate foods on grocery store shelves. Research results like this should only improve the situation further.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 09-02-2014 1:14 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 6 of 243 (736153)
09-04-2014 11:26 AM


Low Fat and Milk
Part of the legacy of the low fat movement is low fat and skim milk. After WWII based on the aforementioned research the US Department of Agriculture recommended that adults and children above 2 in age should consume fat-free or low-fat milk. But research reported last year shows these recommendations were ill advised for children, see Whole milk may be better for kids than skim milk. In the article Dr. Mark Daniel DeBoer is quoted saying:

"We were really surprised when we looked at the data and it was very clear that within every ethnicity and every socioeconomic strata, that it was actually the opposite, that children who drank skim milk and 1 percent were heavier than those who drank 2 percent and whole."

No doubt the same is true for adults.

Once our kids reached age two whole milk disappeared from our refrigerator and was replaced with 1%. I used to love breakfast cereal but didn't like it with the 1% milk, so I stopped eating breakfast cereal. Turns out I didn't need to miss one of my favorite foods.

I'm hoping to see the amount of shelf space dedicated to reduced fat milk gradually diminish in grocery stores.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by NoNukes, posted 09-04-2014 5:13 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 11 of 243 (736237)
09-05-2014 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by NoNukes
09-05-2014 5:36 PM


NoNukes writes:

And here is another, rather sobering result:

http://www.wellspringcamps.com/...essons-in-weight-loss.html

quote:
More important, the overall outcomes were not particularly impressive: an average of 9 lbs. weight loss (out of an average of 50 lbs of excess weight at the start) after dieting for two years.

In the accompanying editorial, Dr. Martijn Katahn stated: "It is obvious by now that weight losses among participants in diet trials will at best average 3-4 kg after 2-4 years."


It's been known for a very long while that the long term outcome of the vast majority of dieting is failure. The usual pattern is short-term success over the first few months or maybe even a year, followed by regaining the weight over the next year or two.

The key issue isn't which weight-loss diet is better, but what should a healthy diet look like. This was discussed a great deal in the two threads referenced in Message 1. Existing studies strongly hinted at health benefits for low carb over low fat but were not definitive, so the study cited in Message 1 was a helpful step toward clarifying the advantages in terms of measures like muscle/fat proportions, triglyceride levels, HDL/LDL ratios, and weight loss.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by NoNukes, posted 09-05-2014 5:36 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by NoNukes, posted 09-05-2014 9:56 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 17 of 243 (736278)
09-06-2014 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by NoNukes
09-06-2014 8:53 AM


NoNukes writes:

With respect to weight loss, limited weight loss and regain is the end result of all diets.

Sorry, I guess this is just my month to nitpick about overly broad statements. Some people do manage to keep off most of the weight they lose. I was wondering if we know what that proportion is and came across this ancient NYT article: 95% Regain Lost Weight. Or Do They?, the gist of which is that at least back in 1999 we didn't really know with any precision, though there were many reports of success.

CBS in 2005 in Diet Plan Success Tough To Weigh reported the Weight Watcher figures of members losing 5% of their weight in 6 months and keeping half of it off two years later, which isn't terribly inspiring.

In Do Diets Work? Scientific American Frontiers in 2004 reported that they were able to find some scientific support for the contention that "8 out of 10 dieters fail to keep the wieght off for any extended period of time."

In 2005 in Long-term weight loss maintenance the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says in the abstract:

There is a general perception that almost no one succeeds in long-term maintenance of weight loss. However, research has shown that ≈20% of overweight individuals are successful at long-term weight loss when defined as losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining the loss for at least 1 year. The National Weight Control Registry provides information about the strategies used by successful weight loss maintainers to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. National Weight Control Registry members have lost an average of 33 kg and maintained the loss for more than 5 years.

Because of my own experience I'm not sure that a partial regain of the weight lost during a diet is a bad thing. It's hard to know what is truly one's best weight. I lost 30 pounds around 5 years ago but found that my new weight wasn't conducive to athletic participation, so I sort of trial-and-error'd my way back up to a net 18 pound weight loss that seemed to work pretty well. Then about a year ago my doctor encouraged me to lose weight again. Though I had my doubts I followed his advice, but the result was not good, so I put the weight back on again. It seems that both too little and too much weight take their toll on stamina, and it feels like the older I get the more a little extra weight helps stamina.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 09-06-2014 8:53 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by NoNukes, posted 09-06-2014 2:24 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 19 of 243 (736310)
09-06-2014 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by NoNukes
09-06-2014 2:24 PM


NoNukes writes:

What athletic activity in particular?

I started playing tennis as a kid and never stopped. Just got back from playing for 2 hours, temperature and humidity were both around 90. You might think the indoor season would be easier, but we just play harder. I play around 4 times a week now, but when I was playing competitively back in the 90's it was 6 or 7 days a week.

At least one year? That is a rather limited definition and puny definition of "long-term", isn't it?

Agreed.

And isn't this a cherry picked registry?

I had never heard of them before that article, maybe, I don't know.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by NoNukes, posted 09-06-2014 2:24 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by NoNukes, posted 09-06-2014 4:39 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 23 of 243 (750735)
02-21-2015 12:24 PM


Another Author Chimes In
I just became aware of a 2014 book, The Big FAT Surprise by Nina Teicholz. She seems to have followed a similar path as Gary Taubes (of Good Calories, Bad Calories fame). She has an article in today's times: The Government’s Bad Diet Advice.

The gist is similar to Taubes: the government has been giving us bad diet advice for a very long time. More and more researchers are willing to concede that the government is responsible for the obesity/diabetes epidemic. Though the government's updated advice seems to be an improvement, she cautions that given the history skepticism is justified.

--Percy


  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 24 of 243 (750996)
02-25-2015 12:36 PM


Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
The recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee were released last week, and once again carbohydrates take a beating, as aptly put as could be in the New York Times editorial How Should We Eat?:

New York Times writes:

The whole less fat/more carbohydrates mess — disaster is not too strong a word, since it likely contributed to the obesity and chronic disease crisis — can be attributed in large part to similarly official dietary recommendations, which in turn are the fault of agency weakness in the face of industry intransigence.

In other words, the new recommendations are an improvement, but be wary.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Jon, posted 02-25-2015 2:58 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 26 of 243 (751008)
02-25-2015 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Jon
02-25-2015 2:58 PM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Jon writes:

I know blaming the government is fun. But how much is really their fault?

Who knows in any precise way, but a substantial proportion.

Without the government's dietary advice we would never have witnessed the low fat revolution take over our grocery store shelves - only in the last few years has it begun to give way substantially to low carbohydrate choices. Organizations like the American Heart Association are also culpable, as well as a host of dietary advice "experts" like Dean Ornish. And they all share responsibility for pillorying the early advocates of low carbohydrate diets like Robert Atkins. I believed the hogwash, too. I still remember years ago shaking my head in knowing condescension when my sister revealed she was on the Atkins diet.

Then I read Good Calories, Bad Calories. It goes through the research. There was a thread discussing it over at Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Jon, posted 02-25-2015 2:58 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Jon, posted 02-25-2015 6:18 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 28 of 243 (751024)
02-26-2015 6:44 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Jon
02-25-2015 6:18 PM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Jon writes:

Who knows in any precise way, but a substantial proportion.

Really?

You think their fault is substantial?

I really doubt it is.

As I said before, the government's dietary advice is largely responsible for the low fat revolution that took over our grocery store shelves. It's responsible for the advice to consume less cholesterol, which became the obsession of a generation when the reality is that cholesterol in the blood does not come from cholesterol in the diet (it's broken down by the digestive system). Government dietary advice is responsible for the success of products like Egg Beaters, when it turns out that avoiding egg yolks is a mistake. It's responsible for skim milk and low fat milk, when recent research hints that reduced fat milk may have negative health effects. It's responsible for the advice to avoid saturated fat, which is now also being questioned. Worst of all, fat in the diet was replaced with carbohydrates, which it turns out can have a severe negative impact on health, most visibly obesity and diabetes.

There's a huge amount of confusing research out there, and the government has taken upon itself the responsibility of evaluating the research and issuing dietary guidelines that are promoted to the public and used in marketing campaigns by the food industry. So yes, I think the government bears a substantial amount of the blame.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Jon, posted 02-25-2015 6:18 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Jon, posted 02-27-2015 9:53 AM Percy has responded
 Message 31 by NoNukes, posted 02-27-2015 4:16 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 30 of 243 (751143)
02-27-2015 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Jon
02-27-2015 9:53 AM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Jon writes:

I see words like 'advice' and 'guidelines'.

I see dissembling. The government guidelines had precisely the dramatic effects I described and that you're ignoring. By blaming increasing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease on high fat diets it increased the carbohydrate intake of a generation and more, to the detriment of everyone's health.

Some of the negative health effects of low-fat/high-carbohydrate diets are very visible, like obesity, but many of the effects are subtle and long-term, like the those of poor triglyceride levels and LDL/HDL ratios. Even when the effects are apparent, when supposedly expert advice doesn't work I think many people conclude that they're not following the advice strictly enough, plus there are confounding factors like exercise, sleep quality, genetics, stress, etc. Drawing conclusions based on self-supervised dieting programs that fail to control for all the various factors and that are performed on a sample size of 1 seems unscientific and ill-advised.

Further complicating things is that one *can* lose weight on any diet that reduces caloric intake sufficiently - millions have done so, though almost the same number of millions have put the weight back on and then some. But those who lost weight on low-carb diets evidently did so much more healthily than those who did it on low-fat diets, and they did it amidst dogged and intense stigmatization of low-carb diets to which the government stance lent substantial legitimacy.

Whether or not you believe the government shares much responsibility, there can be no denying that the old guidelines were spectacularly wrong.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Jon, posted 02-27-2015 9:53 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by nwr, posted 02-27-2015 4:27 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 34 by Jon, posted 02-27-2015 8:04 PM Percy has responded
 Message 41 by caffeine, posted 02-28-2015 5:53 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 33 of 243 (751147)
02-27-2015 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by NoNukes
02-27-2015 4:16 PM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
NoNukes writes:

Percy, could you provide a pointer to some of this bad government advice?

Well, don't forget that I also blamed some organizations like the American Heart Association, but here you go:

1980 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Short excerpt, this one on the misadvice about cholesterol:

A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help maintain a desirable level of blood cholesterol.

The support for the part of this advice that mentions saturated fat is weak and is being called into question. It would be premature to draw any conclusions at this point about the connection between saturated fat and cholesterol, just suffice to say that the research as it existed in 1980 didn't support the advice.

Nina Telcholz's writes an excellent summary of the history of nutrition advice in the latter half of the 20th century in the introduction to her book The Big Fat Surprise. Follow this Amazon link, click on the "Look inside", scroll down to Introduction.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by NoNukes, posted 02-27-2015 4:16 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 35 of 243 (751155)
02-28-2015 7:14 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Jon
02-27-2015 8:04 PM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Jon writes:

But being wrong is a lot different than being at fault.

Well, okay, sure, correlation doesn't prove causation. So let's just say that at the same time that the government and groups like the American Heart Association were pushing diets low in fat and high in vegetables and grains that America became fatter, more diabetic, and more prone to heart disease. Offerings of low fat food in grocery stores expanded enormously, and the pasta and bread industries exploded. The advice had immediate and direct impacts in some quarters, such as school lunch programs.

We can also avoid any temptation toward drawing conclusions about causation in what's happening today and just say that at the same time that the dietary advice began to recognize the dangers of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates, that the rates of obesity and diabetes began to show tentative signs of decline. This is a relatively recent development, so there isn't a lot of data. The impact on heart disease is even harder to ferret out because advances in medicine and reductions in smoking have caused a continual decline in deaths from heart disease since about 1970.

What evidence I did find is suggestive but not conclusive. These Heart and Stroke Statistics from the American Heart Association show blood pressure rising and serum cholesterol falling. Obesity rates in children 2-5 years in age began dropping around 2003, but in older age groups have held roughly steady or even increased. Obesity rates in adults continue to increase. allop reported that US diabetes and obesity rates had leveled off and began to decline in 2011.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Jon, posted 02-27-2015 8:04 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 02-28-2015 8:44 AM Percy has responded
 Message 38 by Jon, posted 02-28-2015 1:31 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 37 of 243 (751169)
02-28-2015 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by NoNukes
02-28-2015 8:44 AM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
I'm not sure how to respond because I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you responding as you are because you read the material I referenced and reject it, or because you didn't read it and aren't familiar with the history of dietary advice in this country.

I'd like to believe that I could be convinced by some good science, but the problem is that there is not very much of that out there.

If I could rephrase this a little, I think there's a lot of good diet and health research out there, but it is often interpreted or extrapolated in unjustifiable ways. Initially suggestive research results that didn't hold up were often inappropriately used as the basis for dietary advice.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 02-28-2015 8:44 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19102
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 39 of 243 (751187)
02-28-2015 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Jon
02-28-2015 1:31 PM


Re: Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Jon writes:

It's not about correlation and causation. It's about blaming someone else for your problems.

I agree, one shouldn't blame someone else for one's problems, except when someone else *is* actually responsible for one's problems.

People who have been following the government's guidelines yet still gaining weight should probably stop following them.

You're repeating your position again having never addressed any of the detailed rebuttal.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Jon, posted 02-28-2015 1:31 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Jon, posted 02-28-2015 5:24 PM Percy has responded

  
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